Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi delivered fifth and seventh respectively today in qualifying for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.
Lorenzo has been on dominant form since the first free practice session yesterday morning and a constant presence in the top two positions as one of the fastest riders on track with a highly competitive race pace. This afternoon however the reigning world champion was unable to replicate that form in the 15 minute qualifying heat with too much spinning on the rear tyre holding him back. Despite a promising last lap with initial red splits the Mallorcan had to settle for fifth on the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s race after being unable to retain the momentum up the hill to the finish line.
Teammate Rossi shared a similar qualifying experience to Lorenzo. Having been quick to get onto a very competitive race pace early in the weekend practice the Italian was unable to make best use of the qualifying tyres in the quick fire session. Excessive tyre spin prevented Rossi from closing on the front row so he will start from the third row in seventh for tomorrow’s race.
Jorge Lorenzo 5th / 1’55.949 / 7 laps
“I waited for much more because I wanted to improve seven tenths or a second from the pace to make a fast lap but I couldn’t take profit from the power of the new tyre. We had so much spinning and we went slow. The pace from all the top riders is quite similar so it’s going to be important to get a good start and try to overtake some riders at the beginning of the race and then we can see how we are.”
Valentino Rossi 7th / 1’56.186 / 7 laps
“At the end I’m not so happy because seventh position is my worst position of the weekend and it was qualifying. I improved my lap time but the other guys were faster. My target was to start in the first five but unfortunately I have to start from seventh on the third row. Anyway, I have a good pace and was always with the front guys in the free practices. Now we have to make some changes to the bike, we have been competitive all weekend so I think and I hope we can be competitive during the race. Yesterday the harder tyre we used was good but today it was no good, maybe because it was ten degrees less, so I think we will use the soft tomorrow.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A very tight qualifying but of course not the result we wanted to see. A lack of grip on the rear was causing a lot of issues; it looked to be better in free practice this morning as we do have a very good pace. We will try to make the best package possible for tomorrow and go for it.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“The qualifying didn’t go quite as we wanted, but we have a good package and the race pace is very competitive for both Jorge and Vale. Of course we will continue working tonight to make it even better and then we are ready for the race. Unfortunately the weather forecast is not good for tomorrow so maybe the work we have done so far will have to change direction to give us a good rain set up. Let’s see what we can put together tonight, we will be ready whatever the circumstances.”
Record lap fires Crutchlow to stunning pole position in Brno
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow claimed the second pole position of his career this afternoon with a stunning qualifying performance that made the British rider the fastest man ever on two wheels at the Brno track. A stunning lap of 1.55.527 beat reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo’s 2012 pole position record of 1.55.799 to secure Crutchlow top spot in qualifying by well over 0.2s.
Crutchlow started QP2 brimming with confidence after a best lap of 1.56.156 saw him set the fastest time in free practice. He was immediately on a blisteringly fast pace in QP2 and his first flying lap of 1.56.081 sent him soaring to the top of the leaderboard.
Crutchlow’s sixth lap of the 15-minute session though was a record-breaking stunner, the 27-year-old improving by over 0.6s to secure him a second premier class pole position after he claimed top spot in qualifying at the historic Dutch TT in Assen back in June.
Brno was the scene of Crutchlow’s maiden MotoGP podium one year ago and he will start tomorrow’s 22-lap race with optimism that he can register a fifth podium in the 2013 World Championship.
Crutchlow’s record-breaking exploits showed once again the high level of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team package and today saw another fantastic performance from teammate Bradley Smith.
The rookie equalled his best ever qualifying result by taking a richly deserved sixth position, his best lap of 1.56.014 less than 0.5s behind Crutchlow’s scintillating pace and just over 0.1s from securing the 22-year-old a phenomenal first front row.
Smith has been lapping comfortably inside the top 10 all weekend and his best time in QP2 perfectly illustrated the major progress he is making, as he was almost two seconds faster compared to the pace he set in first practice.
Smith has now qualified inside the top 10 for the last five races and he is looking forward to a strong race tomorrow to help him strengthen his challenge for a top 10 position in the World Championship standings.
Cal Crutchlow 1st 1.55.527 – 7 laps :
“I am really happy to be on pole position again and I have to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. It has not been an easy weekend while we have been working on improving the bike, but in every session we have progressed and got faster. I felt really good on that lap and to set the circuit best lap is a great achievement for the whole team to be proud of. I just pushed as hard as I could and it is nice to take another pole position because I feel this is more of a true pole after Assen. Jorge wasn’t in Assen but this time it feels great to be fastest with everybody on track. I am looking forward to the race and the objective is to finish on the podium like last year. It would be great to have a strong result tomorrow so I can go to my home race in Silverstone with some big confidence.”
Bradley Smith 6th 1.56.014 – 7 laps :
“Today was another great day for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. It is very exciting to have Cal on pole position again and from my side of the garage it is a brilliant achievement to be in the top six. The atmosphere in the team is great and both of us are really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I am less than 0.5s away from pole position and very close to the top three and it shows the progress I am making. We’ve made some changes to the front-end of the bike and it is really working. Now my main focus will be to remain smooth at the start of the race and not make mistakes like I did in Indianapolis. It is going to be a hard race over 22 laps because this track is very physical and it is very important to keep on a good line. I will try and get a good rest tonight and be ready for tomorrow. Getting a good start like in Indianapolis will be important and then I will try and learn as much as possible.”
2013 MotoGP Czech Republic
1 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’55.527
2 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’55.754
3 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’55.863
4 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’55.868
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’55.949
6 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’56.014
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’56.186
8 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’56.477
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’56.825
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’56.979
11 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’57.455
12 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 1’58.392
13 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’58.378
14 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’58.812
15 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’58.953
(Jorge Lorenzo, 1-1-2012)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Cal Crutchlow, 25-8-2013)
Last Years Winner: